Crushers Club teaches West Englewood boys to fight for their futures | Slideshows | Chicago Reader

May 24, 2017 Slideshows » Blogs

Crushers Club teaches West Englewood boys to fight for their futures 

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Jiayue Yu
Christopher Norwood, 14, catches his breath against the rails of the Crushers Club boxing ring. He’s been part of the boxing program for the past four years, and recently won in the novice division of the 2017 Illinois Junior Olympic Tournament.
Jiayue Yu
Darrion Davis, 11, practices speed drills in a room connected to the ring. This is usually where new boxers can be found, turning punching bags into a competition.
Jiayue Yu
Seventy-six-year-old James Kitchen, a former professional boxer who trains kids at the club, wraps the hands of a younger fighter.
Jiayue Yu
Boxers jump rope in front of the ring.
Jiayue Yu
Martavier Lover, 18, checks himself out in the mirror before wrapping his hands. Other boxers will also use the mirror to practice their rope drills or to shadow box, watching themselves throw jabs.
Jiayue Yu
A photo collage depicting participants past and present stands out in the room.
Jiayue Yu
Kitchen trains two of Crushers Club’s younger members how to throw a punch, a jab, and a hook. Once they’re older and more experienced, they’ll move on to training with other teens.
Jiayue Yu
Between sparring matches, kids take to the ring, throwing themselves against the ropes or lounging on the posts.
Jiayue Yu
Founder Sally Hazelgrove, 54, with Javion Copeland, 10. Hazelgrove acts as a second mom to many of the members, talking to them about their days, making sure they stay out of trouble, and telling them she loves them.
Jiayue Yu
Isiah Cook met Hazelgrove when he was ten years old, and has been working with her ever since. Now at 20, he recently made it to the semi-finals of the local Golden Gloves tournament and spends much of his time at the gym teaching and mentoring younger boxers.
Jiayue Yu
Younger boxers watch the action inside the ring. The Crushers Club’s space is vibrant during evening hours, when boxers come in after school to spar and hang out.
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Jiayue Yu
Christopher Norwood, 14, catches his breath against the rails of the Crushers Club boxing ring. He’s been part of the boxing program for the past four years, and recently won in the novice division of the 2017 Illinois Junior Olympic Tournament.

Tags: Crushers Club, Sally Hazelgrove, boxing, West Englewood, sports, youth, gun violence, rehabilitative programs, gang intervention programs

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